Helping Partners and Spouses of Women with PPD
Postpartum depression is a devastating condition that not only affects the mother but can affect her partner or partner as well. There are many reasons for this and spouses need to know that they do not have to suffer in silence during this time.
Plenty of support resources are available to husbands and partners struggling to cope with their wives’ condition. These support resources will be valuable tools for husbands, partners or spouses as their wives begin postpartum depression treatment and recovery.
How Postpartum Depression Affects Partners
Postpartum depression is a condition that affects everyone close to the person who is suffering. For husbands, spouses or partners, it can be extremely difficult to see their partner struggling with postpartum depression. It may be shocking and confusing and create feelings of helplessness. This is a natural reaction when the mental and emotional well-being of your loved one is at stake.
Because postpartum depression causes withdrawal, it can cause the woman’s significant other to feel rejected, hurt and more stressed. The entire dynamic between the couple shifts. Without proper communication, many husbands or partners feel they don’t have the support they need. Additionally, they may think they can’t support their partner, amplifying feelings of uncertainty and helplessness.
Postpartum Depression Support for Partners
There is no way to know how long a woman’s postpartum depression symptoms will last. This is why it is critical for husbands, spouses or partners to seek their own support as soon as possible. Support and other resources provide them with an outlet through which to understand postpartum depression better and seek help for their own struggles during this time.
Postpartum Depression Education for Partners
If your wife or partner has been diagnosed with postpartum depression, educating yourself about the condition is vital. By learning about its causes, symptoms, and treatment options, you will better understand what is happening and why.
Additionally, learning about postpartum depression will help reduce uncertainty and alleviate stress. You will know what to expect when it comes to the recovery process.
One of the best ways for a partner to learn about postpartum depression is to speak directly with the physicians or mental health professionals treating your wife or partner. This way, they can understand the specific details regarding their partner’s condition, including her symptoms’ severity, treatment course, and recovery progress.
The Importance of Providing Support
Research has shown that one of the critical risk factors for women developing postpartum depression is a lack of support. Women are more likely to improve their symptoms and recover from postpartum depression if they have stability and support at home.
In most cases, their partner is responsible for providing this support and stability. This is why, in addition to education about postpartum depression, a partner’s support can greatly determine how a woman’s condition will improve.
Seeking Your Own Support
While offering support is vital to a woman’s recovery from postpartum depression, it can be challenging for partners to remain supportive if they are also struggling. Partners need to seek their own support if needed.
Husbands, partners, or spouses can discuss concerns with a family physician, spend time with friends and family, or even seek their own therapy treatments with a mental health professional to ease stress.
Reaching out to loved ones is a great way to build a stronger support network for both couples. This may include asking friends and other family members for help with child care, attending appointments, household tasks, or any other area where help is needed.
Also, husbands and partners may need to seek their own support from a mental health professional. This could be counseling or therapy to help them manage their feelings and stress.
Postpartum depression support groups and online forums are also available specifically for partners of those with PPD. These groups allow loved ones to share their own stories and provide each other with encouragement and understanding. Support groups help husbands and partners express emotions they may not otherwise feel they can share.
Self-Help for Partners
A critical support element for husbands and partners during postpartum depression is their own self-help practice. By consciously developing healthy practices, husbands can ease their stress and improve their well-being while supporting their families.
Here are some ways for husbands and partners to develop their own self-help practices and ensure they manage their own well-being during this time:
- Exercising or getting outside daily
- Eating healthy and ensuring proper nutrition
- Getting enough rest and staying hydrated
- Practicing meditation, mindfulness and deep breathing
- Spending time alone and out of the house
- Spending time with friends and in social settings
You can recharge and manage stress more effectively by making time for yourself. It is important to prioritize your personal health and take your well-being seriously.
While it may be difficult to know exactly what to say when your loved one suffers from postpartum depression, the most important thing is to reinforce your support and encouragement. While many women experience anxiousness and destructive thought patterns, husbands, partners, and spouses can encourage them by supporting their treatment and reminding them that the symptoms will eventually disappear.
Though postpartum depression brings challenges, your support and encouragement will greatly improve your partner’s ability to recover.